I need to respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer - Ms Milne's voice is gorgeous, and if you're looking for a disc that captures the beauty of these Hebridean songs, you have found gold. The closest comparison I can think of is Renee Fleming. It's a professional, rather than amateur performance.
And a stunning one at that. Hours and hours of listening pleasure! Of course it would be better is some authentic Hebridean singers had done these in their down home styles, but most of these songs are seldom performed or recorded.
I bought it for "An Eriskay Love Lilt" and was pleased to see a total of 34 songs on the album. All of these should work well as material for our local Celtic Chorus group. Format: Audio CD. I've loved these songs since early childhood, so it was a particular delight to find this nearly perfect recording many years ago.
Sioned Williams's harp playing is just right and, despite modern misgivings about Marjory Kennedy-Fraser's approach to the traditional songs of the Scots Highlands and islands, the arrangements are truly beautiful.
Lisa Milne's voice is lovely. My only beef is that a very formal voice singing traditional song -- however beautiful the voice may be -- tends to sound unnatural and over-produced. That being said, this is a charming addition to my collection, and I recommend it warmly. See all 3 customer reviews. The Witchery Milking Croon.
The Uncanny Mannikin of the Cattlefold. Skye Water-Kelpie's Lullaby. The Harper. The Cockle Gatherer. Birds at the Fairy Fulling. Uist Cattle Croon. The Crone's Creel.
Islay Reaper's Song. A Spinning Song. The Ship at Sea. Sea Wandering. The Reiving Ship. The Birlinn of the White Shoulders. Heart of Fire-Love. The Coolin of Rhum. The Leaping Galley. Isle of My Heart. Kishmul's Galley. Sleeps the Noon in the Deep Blue Sky. Most English writers were far from certain of the innate superiority of their nation — or even certain what their nation was. To begin with, England was not — and has never been — a "sceptred isle. Still more troubled and productive of anxiety was England's relationship with the island of Ireland where Richard II leads a military expedition in Shakespeare's play, precipitating his own downfall.
As for the wider world, the proud separateness celebrated by John of Gaunt was not so much chosen as enforced. A Protestant state confronting a largely Catholic Europe over the channel, Elizabethan England with its excommunicated Queen was a lonely pariah among nations. The English were thus anxious to the point of paranoia about what foreign visitors might think of them. Little wonder that they sometimes attempted to compensate for these anxieties with outbursts of patriotic bluster.
In during the Jacobite rising she vented her Whiggism in a squib upon Bonnie Prince Charlie , and narrowly escaped being taken by the Highland guard as she was driving through Edinburgh in the family coach of the Keiths of Ravelston, with the parody in her pocket. Her husband died on 29 April , and left her a small income. She continued to mix in artistic and intellectual circles from her home in Bristo Street, on Castle-hill, Edinburgh. Despite the added loss of her only son in infancy we are told of, "her insatiable love of mischief, mockery and match-making, everywhere welcome, both in town and country, a good companion, a wise friend, ready to jest over her own ailments.
In she published her lyrics to the traditional Border Ballad the Flowers of the Forest beginning "I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling". It is said to have been written before her marriage in and concerns a financial crisis that had ruined the fortunes of a number of the Selkirk Lairds. Baby heirs came often ; the Banner came but twice. The end of the tale is not yet, however. There is a bidding to which the Gael is never false, the bidding which puts him under the spells. And an Islesman is under spells both to his heart and to his head to give love to Mary Macleod, the most fascinating figure in Gaelic poetry from the beginning of the seventeenth century to a century on which fate has not yet put a name.
A woman not of the schools but of herself, and fond of taking her own way when her own way seemed the best, she broke, for love of her gift, with such of the old metrical conventions as had hitherto hobbled the bard. Judged by the few poems which are known for certain to be hers, she holds, if not the first place among Gaelic poets, a place at any rate among the first, for sheer artistry and for beauty of rhythm.
And if all the songs that are said to be hers are really hers, or even a tithe of them, her place, as a Gael would put it, is at the very head of the table. One may think of her, then, whether in her poetry or in her life, as by no means least in the procession of great Celtic women which began with Deirdre and St.
Bride and has, perhaps, not ended with Flora Macdonald. An Isleswoman from Rodel of Harris, Mary Macleod, or Mairi, Daughter of Alastair Rua, as she is better known to the Gaels, was, for the genius of her, chosen out of many gifted ones to sing the Cradle Spell to the baby heir of Dunvegan.
But no handed-down lullaby, howsoever strong, could express all that the nurse felt towards the little one, and it was song on the song with her, praise on the praise, and raptuie on the xxix rapture, be the hours canonical or not. Ruairi, the Chief of Dunvegan, shaking his head, flung at her the herdman's saying: Bheir an t-anabarr molaidh an t-anabarr dosgaidh.
The overmuch praise bringeth the overmuch loss. And, sure enough, the loss came 1 — once, twice, thrice. After which, by every rule and by every thought of the Isles, it had to be exile for Mary Macleod ; the place of her strangerhood, as the Gaelic has it, being the little Island of Sgarba, in the Southern Hebrides.
And there the wonder of the Gael came upon her. Columba, "to be here in Alba, and to belooking on Moola from Iona. In those days, there being no fast mail-boats to cause delay, a whisper travelled from isle to isle, if not in the mouth of the wind, at any rate on its heel ; and in due time Mary Macleod's plaint reached Dunvegan in Skye and Rodel in Harris, and the many places where Siol Tormaid, the Seed of Norman, grew.
And on a day of days the galley of Macleod cast anchor off Sgarba, having aboard the glad news that Mairi, Daughter of Alastair Rua, was to return home to Dunvegan ; only, she was to make no more songs. Make no more songs? As if she wanted to make any more! Sure, her music-of-laughter would henceforth be the croon of the soft Dunvegan voices — and there and then Mary forgot that she was no longer a bard.
Perhaps E-fein, Himself, as the Chief was known among the clansfolk, remembered a story which even the Church had never banned. In the days of long before, as a woman of the Isles lay dying, a young 4 mavis went into lilting on a rowan-tree in front of the door. By the look of her, it is not the creel of peats you would be wishing to put on her back, though, indeed, there was the good marrow, too, in her, whether for the hill or for the sea.
It is two tartan plaids she would be having on ; a little one round her head, with the white frill of the mutch showing through ; and a large one, a tonnag, draped round her shoulders, and fastened in front by a braisde, a silver circlet. It is of silk her gown would often be, as befitted one who might go in by the front door of Dunvegan Castle.
In her right hand she would have a staff, with a silver head on it, and in her left a silver mull ; and people would be saying that never a foot of her would go on a journey without having in her wallet a silver quaich, out of which folk of name thought it an honour and an obligation to drink. And the eyes of her were so living!
And when they would be in the laughter as well, themselves and her share of wrinkles together, you would never wish but to be looking at them. One can imagine, then, the thrill in the ceilidh when, on a memorable night, up would go the door latch, and there would appear, not the usual late neighbour, but the very woman whom the Islesfolk would be wishing to look at. There would be the curtsey for her, did she allow it ; but already, no doubt, her upraised hand would have put the artist's silence on such as, panting to give her the glad welcome, would thereby interrupt the teller of the tale or the singer of the song.
And then it would be, " Man of my heart, do not give the last word to Patrick the cleric. Never was Ossian, the bard, without the ready answer and the sore word. Teller of the tale, we are listening. If only thou wert beginning! Patrick and Ossian, what remained of them, lived in the township ; Mary Macleod might be in the other township by sunset, to-morrow. So — " Sit ye down, gentles and semples ; sit ye down, each as he may ; and sit ye down, arrow-maker.
Mary Macleod, if one may judge by the events she sang and the people she knew, must have gone through nearly fourscore years and ten of ceilidh and song ; her full age, according to tradition, being fivescore years and five. In days when people grew old long before their time, she became a pilgrim of song when far beyond middle age, going on foot from clachan to clachan, and by boat from isle to isle, throughout the years.
And not even Ruari, the Chief, was wont to meet with a prouder welcome among the Islesfolk than was the little old woman with the lit eyes and the tangle of crowsfeet. Into the various festivities of the various clachans there came in those days a new fascination, the certainty that Mairi, Daughter of Alastair Rua, would be somewhere, and the hope that it would be here rather than there.On Alive with Clive: With Her Extraordinary Voice, Singing and Songs, and Her Dad by Her Side, Magnificent Singer-Songwriter, Nina Lee, Invigorates with Love, Light and Inspiration! 0 Posted March 6, by cliveswersky in Guests.